The arrival of May 2016 marks the end of Viajeo PLUS. Project coordinator Yanying Li (ERTICO – ITS Europe) takes stock of three years of work and experiences.
After three exciting years, the Viajeo Plus project comes to an end. As coordinator of this project, I would like to thank all the consortium members, external experts and all organisations that have been involved in the project’s activities.
I would also like to express my gratitute on behalf of the consortium to the European Commission for their support to the project activities. Special thanks have to be given to the local partners of the host cities of the four City Showcases, i.e. Gothenburg, Chengdu, Rio de Janeiro/ Sao Paulo and Singapore, as well as those of the two host cities of Mediterranean Partner Countries (MPC) Forum, i.e. Istanbul and Rabat.
It was not a bed of roses, but it was worth the effort
Due to different cities and countries have different social and mobility challenges, policy objectives and user needs, it is rather difficult to define general ‘best practices’. Within the project, we understood best practices as solutions which are measurable, successful and replicable. To select them, we relied on the Niches+ methodology.
Another challenge to promote the implementation of innovative and sustainable city mobility solutions relates to financial resources and public procurement procedures. For instance, in developing countries, procurements are largely based on the principle of funding ‘the cheapest option’ which prevents innovative solutions to be implemented.
We have also been discussing with decision-makers the importance of holding a long-term vision. Far too often expanding infrastructure is regarded as the quickest solution to meet mobility demand. However, it leads to poor land use and planning, and the problem may reappear rather soon. Raising awareness among policy-makers about the importance of sustainable transport and mobility has been one of the challenges that Viajeo PLUS has faced.
Capacity building, knowledge transfer and site visits have been the main channels provided by the project to upscale and transfer the best mobility solutions. These activities provide first-hand experience to participants but they are often expensive. Fortunately, Viajeo PLUS also received the support from industry partners, e.g. VOLVO and Michelin.
I truly believe that Viajeo Plus has made significant contributions to uptake of sustainable urban mobility worldwide by facilitating knowledge transferring and best practice dissemination and provision of implementation plans for selected solutions. I hope that we will continue our work and make city life more enjoyable and more sustainable.